The AMNT and XPS Pension Group joined forces to survey member nominated trustees, to see how they have managed through the Coronavirus crisis.
The outcomes of the 'AMNT and XPS Pension Group Survey' are now available and we are fortunate to have Jonathan Stapleton, of Professional Pensions, to talk about the key findings and to interpret what Trustees should be doing in order to understand the strategic consequences and how to put in place effective action plans to address the issues raised.
The Key Findings included:
- Since the pandemic, Trustee duties have become more onerous, with greater scrutiny from The Pensions Regulator and much stricter regulations. Many of our surveyed members find this difficult to assimilate and are considering their future role. Attracting new Trustees is becoming much more difficult?
- Whilst 'Consolidation' did not figure highly in the members surveyed, there is now greater emphasis, in the pensions world, on new market products that will enable sponsors to escape the world of pension liabilities. Should Trustees be concerned?
- The pandemic has been instrumental in the adoption of new technologies, with the abandonment of many 'face to face' meetings. Some of our surveyed members find this a retrograde step, but others believe this to be a way to improve effectiveness and decision making?
- Trustee education is vital and a majority of our members believe their should be a compulsory trustee qualification! Trustee board diversity is also important, but many of our members surveyed fall within a narrow range regards gender and age! How can pension schemes manage this dynamic?
- Trustees must now provide details of their investment strategy and engagement policy with investee companies, as part of their Statement of Investment Principles. Our surveyed members have not been swayed to change their ESG views, as a result of the pandemic. Is this 'good or bad'?
- Uncertainty and greater volatility are now becoming the accepted 'normal'. How should Trustees manage this situation?
This webinar will look to explore and reach an understanding on these issues. Apart from Jonathan Stapleton, of Professional Pensions, we also have Robert Wallace, of XPS Pensions Group, to examine whether there are any simple answers or is it 'back to the drawing board?
Rob is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group. He is Scheme Actuary to a number of schemes with assets ranging from £10m to £1.5bn. He is head of the Governance Solutions Team at XPS, with a focus on helping companies and trustees understand and manage their pension risks.
Editor of Professional Pensions and Workplace Saving and Benefits (WSB)
Jonathan is editor of Professional Pensions and Workplace Savings & Benefits (WSB).
He started work as a journalist on a capital markets magazine called Central European in 2000 before joining an internet start-up called ii-Q.com, a pensions news service.
Jonathan joined Professional Pensions in July 2001 and has been there, barring a nine month sabbatical in 2004, ever since. He launched PP Online in 2006, became deputy editor of Professional Pensions in 2008, editor in 2009, launched WSB in 2012 and became editor-in-chief of both brands in 2014.
Jonathan has won a number of awards throughout his career - most recently the Society of Pension Professionals' Journalist of the Year Award 2019 - and is holder of the Pension Management Institute's Retirement Provision Certificate.
Outside of pensions, Jonathan enjoys spending time with his son, helping to run a Scout troop and trying (unsuccessfully so far) to improve his very sluggish 5km running time
David Weeks was elected as Co-Chair of the Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) in 2016. He is a director of the defined benefit pension scheme for a leading PLC in infrastructure services. The Pensions Management Institute presented him with their 2019 award for “Outstanding contribution to the pensions industry”. “Engaged Investor” included him in their “Top 50 people in pensions 2017”.
David Weeks is active in the affairs of the World Pensions Council, for whom he has acted as moderator, presenter and rapporteur at international conferences. Journals that have published contributions from him recently include “Financial Times”, “Revue Analyse Financiere”, “Portfolio Institutional”, “Professional Pensions” and “Pensions Expert”. He has been a judge for major UK pension awards.
In his previous career, David Weeks has experience of both public and private sectors. Most recently he served as a consultant or executive in UK Government Departments, including Home Office, Health, Trade and Industry, and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Earlier, he worked in private sector business development and marketing, and in international advertising agencies. He is a graduate in history of the University of Bristol.
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